Employee Spotlight is a series that features one-on-one interviews with the smart, interesting and talented members of Paperform's global team. We chat about their careers journeys, passions and what it's like to work for Paperform.
Jo spearheads the Customer Success team, working directly with customers to make sure they achieve their goals with Paperform. If she's not updating customer service policies, writing help docs, or building slick new templates, you'll find her playing with her insanely cute puppy, Waffle, or on the couch watching RuPaul's Drag Race. 💅
Editor's note: The following transcript has been edited for clarity.
It's a bit difficult to summarise in a single sentence but basically, as the Customer Success Lead my role has three parts: supporting users, helping the CS team in their day-to-day roles and collaborating with the Dev and Marketing teams on larger projects.
A big part of my role is dedicated to building policies and procedures for the team to work with. These are a mix of broad principles (like an overall customer service philosophy) and product-specific guides, like how to work with a niche use case or troubleshoot a certain problem.
And, of course, the most important part of my job is supporting customers. I spend the better part of each day chatting to customers and helping answer their questions, whether it be someone asking about a specific calculation or simply asking how much Paperform costs.
First thing's first: before I do anything I take Waffle outside to do her thing. We usually play fetch for a while and that'll take me through to around 8 am, which is when I start most days. We have a rotating roster that depends on a bunch of different time zones, so that changes depending on the time of year.
I like to start out with general admin. Checking emails and Slack and all that stuff, getting up to date with anything I might've missed overnight. Then I'll log straight into Intercom, which is what we use to communicate with users. I spend the majority of my time chatting to customers and supporting the team if anything pops up.
"No two customers are the same, which is something I love. In the space of a couple of minutes I could go from helping a web developer build a really technical solution to guiding a less experienced user through something really basic. It keeps the job fun and challenging."
There's a lot of multi-tasking in my role, which is one of my favourite things about it. While I'm on Intercom, I might also be updating procedures, creating new templates or maintaining the help centre. We're constantly creating new articles, so I spend a lot of time in our project management tool, Asana, delegating tasks across the team.
Depending on what's happening on the product side I'll also work on a range of other projects, like our recent Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries integration, as well as some exciting thing that I can't quite talk about yet. As for the end of my workday, I finish up by taking Waffle for another walk before dinner.
Well, I have to say that I like to keep busy. I love the adrenaline rush that comes with having a lot of things to do, and juggling multiple projects at once. So I guess that's what I love about my job. But in terms of my favourite part? As weird as it sounds, it is actually meetings.
I know, people will probably think I'm crazy. But because we're a remote team, when I catch up with everyone, see how they're going and collaborate on things, it really is the highlight of my week. Even though most of us haven't even met in real life, we're all really close. Having those little collaborative moments is really nice—and it's fun!
Oh for sure, there are a few things we look to identify in candidates. Number one is that they're a self-starter. It's important for remote work in general, but particularly for this kind of role. We look for people who are enthusiastic, self-motivated and that love to help other people, which is the primary thing we're here to do.
"For our team, there is no better feeling than when a customer says thank you, when they feel like they've accomplished something and you've played a part in their success. To be a good fit you really need to get a kick out of those kinds of moments."
Obviously, empathy and kindness are big ones. You need to be able to empathise with users, and mirror their feelings. And just be kind. We're protective of our team, and don't tolerate any unacceptable behaviour from customers, but I think kindness just goes a long way.
There's obviously a lot that goes into it, but I'd say one that's simple and immediately effective is having your team set expectations with your users, and be consistent. It's so important. For customers, there is nothing worse than being left in the dark about how long it might take to resolve an issue.
Another one would be to build out those strong core policies and procedures around technical issues. This way your support team has something to lean on and won't feel overwhelmed in different scenarios. It gets rid of a lot of unnecessary stress.
"Apart from that, I think it's just important to dedicate your team to going above and beyond to find the right solution for each individual customer. Doing that, setting expectations and having policies in place will put pretty much any support team on the right track."
I have to say helping build a great team. All the members of the Customer Success team are so different and individually awesome. We have a mixture of technical people and creatives that just complement each other so well.
As a team lead, you're basically there to push everyone to be the best version of themselves, and I'm just really proud of the CS team we've built. There aren't many companies lucky enough to have customers who remember the names of individual support staff, and build actual relationships with users. That's how amazing they are.
I'm a big Marvel fan, so I'd have to say the MCU. If you don't feel like watching 26 movies, just watch Guardians of the Galaxy. That's the best one, just putting it out there.
First of all, I'm a big foodie, so honestly I wouldn't deal too well with this. But if I had to I'd choose a Filipino dish called Sinigang. It's a soup with slow-cooked pork ribs that you have with rice and heaps of veggies. It's sour but savoury and is just amazing.
After COVID honestly anywhere other than New Zealand. I'm an island girl at heart though, so I'd really like to try Hawaii. I just love being surrounded by nature, and living that laidback island life.
Oh, do I want to expose myself? Okay, so I used to sing and play guitar in high school (don't ask me to sing). I might also have been a pageant girl. I was eighteen and my mum was like, "just do it!" I came runner up and was named Ms Congeniality, so I've got something in common with Sandra Bullock. It's a bit of a laugh now, but it was honestly such a good experience.
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